Expert says red tide caused fish kills in Charlotte Harbor

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Dead fish can be seen floating in a residential canal at Punta Gora Isle Friday, April 23, 2021. A water expert said red tide caused recent fish kills homeowners are seeing. Credit: WINK News.

An expert says red tide is to blame for rotting, dead fish filling a canal in part of Southwest Florida, and a homeowner we spoke to thinks there is more going on.

There was lingering red tide in Charlotte Harbor Friday. Homeowners told us fish have been collecting and rotting in their connecting canal since Wednesday.

“We can’t come outside,” Stringer said. “We can’t even enjoy the lanai. We smell it through the screen. It does help a little bit, but I mean, this is a perfect time of year to actually be out and enjoying the weather.”

Corrie Stringer and Jacob Hopper live in Punta Gorda Isles in Punta Gorda. They moved in about a month ago. The couple has quickly learned there is beauty, and there is a stench.

“It’s just a bunch of bloated, decomposing, fish carcasses by the hundreds; I mean by the hundreds,” Stringer said. “Literally of all different species, and they’ve been rolling in since Wednesday, and it hasn’t stopped. They just keep coming.”

Their neighbor Tim Richie says he warned the couple about dead fish popping up near homes in the canal.

“I can tell you we’ve had this house for 26 years. I used to eat fish out of here,” Richie said. “I wouldn’t eat one fish out of this canal.”

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